Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is the subject of interest from French giants Paris Saint-Germain, although the 2018 World Cup winner has not yet decided what his next move will be.
Pogba is set to be left without a contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season, allowing him to potentially leave the club as a free agent – that would mean no transfer fee for United, who paid what was then a world record £ 89 million to recruit him from Juventus in the summer of 2016.
As of this month, the 28-year-old has already been allowed to formally negotiate and even sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs to lock in a free transfer for the summer.
90min first reported in July 2021 that Pogba is keen to evaluate all available alternatives before making a decision. It has not changed. Nothing is off the table, including signing a new contract in Manchester, and agent Mino Raiola has kept various parties informed.
United officials have been divided over whether to give Pogba a new contract. For some in the club, the potential cost of a deal worth £ 400,000 a week may not be justified. Others, however, are worried about the possibility of losing an investment of 89 million pounds for nothing.
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As such, United have continued talks since the end of 2020. But Pogba has stopped agreeing with its current employers.
Interim coach Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that he does not intend to try to persuade Pogba to join United if the player is not fully invested in staying.
“I would not say he is not worth keeping but players must want to stay and play for the club. If a player does not want to play for a club like Manchester United, even in the long run, then I do not think it makes sense to convince him to change, ”Rangnick recently explained.
Although Raiola has been in contact with various clubs, as well as in discussions with United, Pogba’s suitors have generally been in the dark about the player’s intentions. Raiola has long wanted a bidding war, not as a tactic to drive up the money, but to land on the “right” offer.
The agent confirmed to German Sport1 in December: “We have many offers for him, including an extension of the contract. We will see what is best for him.”
Real Madrid, Juventus and PSG have usually been the clubs most strongly linked to Pogba in recent years. Barcelona have also been mentioned before, but their ongoing financial problems have in practice ruled out the possibility of a strategy.
It was also reported in Spain in November that Real, keen fans of Pogba during Zinedine Zidane’s tenure as manager, could also take a back seat in the competition. Although they do not have to pay a transfer fee, their resources are said to be earmarked for other positions – Kylian Mbappe will order a bumper contract and Erling Haaland is also a target.
With Juventus considered lacking in purchasing power, which would limit their ability to make an attractive offer, and Bayern Munich excluded due to their typically lower salaries, it leaves PSG as the most obvious destination for Pogba if he wants to move on from United – at almost 29 years, this will probably be the last big contract of his career, whoever it is.
In France, L’Equipe now writes that Juve is the option that Pogba finds least tempting, while current Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti does not carry the same enthusiasm for him as Zidane did. They say the interest from PSG is “real” and “mutual”, with the fact that he would be available as a free agent an extra attraction after Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma were recently arrested. But potential fears arise over the impact on the balance in a locker room that is already full of superstar names and big characters.
Pogba has not played since suffering a thigh injury while training with France during the international break in November and his last appearance in any competition was in United’s draw 2-2 Champions League against Atalanta earlier that month.
The player spent several weeks undergoing rehab and training in hot weather in Dubai but has since returned to Manchester to continue his ongoing recovery. He was initially expected to return to action this month but is now earmarked for a comeback in February instead.
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